Monday, November 26, 2012

10 Family Friendly Warm Places to Go for Winter Break

If you live in a cooler climate that experiences wintry weather during the colder months, but aren’t a fan of toughing out the colder days or participating in winter sports, the idea of escaping to a warm, sunny locale for a quick family vacation during winter break can be incredibly appealing. While there are a staggering number of places around the world that enjoy warm weather during the winter months, these are 10 of the best and most family-friendly spots to visit if you’re looking to escape the winter doldrums with your brood.

Florida Keys – With average temperatures in the 70’s, even during January and February, the Florida Keys offer American families the chance to get as close to the equator as possible without leaving the continental United States. In addition to the many beaches and water sports, there are also ample opportunities to learn more about marine life on a glass-bottomed boat or a chartered eco-tour.

Dominican Republic – Skipping the country in search of warmer climates doesn’t have to empty your bank account. During the winter months, most resorts in the beautiful and exotic Dominican Republic slash their prices dramatically, leaving their prices well within most budgets. Temperatures during the winter months also tend to hover in the high 70’s to 80’s.

Maya Riviera, Mexico – With year-round temperature averages of about 78°, the Maya Riviera is a popular destination for those who aren’t wild about winter weather. From sparkling beaches to spectacular Mayan ruins, there’s definitely something to suit every member of your family in the area.

Hawaii – If you don’t mind a bit of crowding, the Hawaiian Islands may be the perfect choice for your winter getaway. Because each of the eight islands has their own attractions and offer something different to tourists, you’ll be able to find activities everyone in the family will enjoy. Luxury accommodations can get quite pricey, however, because the winter months are quite popular for tourists to visit Hawaii.

Las Vegas, Nevada – Vegas might have the dubious honor of being dubbed “Sin City,” but it’s also a surprisingly suitable family destination, and ranked number one on’s list of wintertime bargain destinations in the United States. Average temperatures fall a bit short of tropical in the winter, hovering in the low 60’s during the winter months, but you still won’t need to pack those heavy jackets and scarves.

The Amalfi Coast, Italy – During the winter months, the Amalfi Coast region is one of the warmest areas of Italy, with average temperatures in the 50’s. Some hotels and restaurants are closed or on limited schedules during the winter months, but there are still plenty of attractions to keep everyone entertained and out of the snow during winter break.

Phoenix, Arizona – With spring-like temperatures hovering in the high 60’s, the many attractions and activities in Phoenix make the city a great escape from winter weather for a short jaunt during winter break. There are plenty of activities for kids, including museums and other educational pursuits, as well as a variety of outdoor activities.

Guanacaste, Costa Rica – From zip-lining through rainforests and thrilling canopy tours to surfing lessons and low-key horseback trail rides, there’s plenty of tropical fun to be had in Costa Rica during the winter months. The crowds are almost non-existent and prices are dramatically dropped during the winter season, which can be quite rainy in certain areas but is easily avoidable by traveling a very short distance.

Orlando, Florida – Families have been making the pilgrimage to Orlando year-round for decades to visit the Happiest Place on Earth and take advantage of the many amenities. It’s significantly less expensive during the winter months, provided that you avoid peak days like Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day, and will have average temperatures in the low 70’s.

Cyprus – The third largest Mediterranean island is dotted with olive and citrus groves, mountains and beaches, and is an impressively low-cost winter vacation destination for families. Temperatures are in the high 70’s from November to February. The island also does not shut down during the winter low season, so you’ll still be able to visit historical sites, go hiking, and enjoy the many amenities of hotels whose rates drop by almost half from November through March.

If you can’t settle on one particular destination, you may find that a winter cruise fits the bill perfectly. Many cruise lines offer plenty of amenities for kids and adults alike, with a variety of possible destinations and the chance to hit plenty of warm-weather ports along the way. You can also shuffle destinations, cabin choices and cruise lengths in order to suit your budget and time constraints.

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